Light a Candle

By  | 

Sunday was the seventh annual Children's Memorial Day, and for some parents it was a day to remember what they miss the most

For one Panama City mother, the day is not just a memorial, it's also a celebration. Teri Meier's son committed suicide just seven months ago, but she says the family will celebrate her son's life, not his death.

Justin Meier was just 14 years old when his life was cut short. A bright yellow truck sits in the driveway for a 15-year-old driver who will never come home.

Teri says coping with the loss and the circumstances are difficult for anybody, but his death has hit close to home for other teenagers considering suicide. Teri says others have come to her for support or written letters to Justin about their own thoughts of suicide.

"This has crossed my mind. I have thought about this many times and now seeing how permanent this is and how much pain you've left behind for everybody and how real it is, I now am not going to do it and I live for you, and that means so much to me."

The vigil is held every year on the second Sunday in December. Candles are lit around the world at 7 p.m. local time and it is believed to be the largest mass candle lighting.

A celebration of Justin Meier's life in honor of his 15th birthday will be held Monday at 5:30 at the Warehouse Market and Cafe in downtown Panama City. A $5 donation is suggested at the entrance to the party.